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Barry Kilpatrick
American Record Guide, September 2012

The Lone Star Wind Orchestra…[is] a good band, and it makes a warm sound. In…Juan Turina’s ‘Procession du Rocio’ a number of well-played solos are heard. Roger Nixon’s colorful ‘Fiesta del Pacifico’ fares well… © 2012 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide online

Brian Reinhart
MusicWeb International, August 2012

…this is the Lone Star Wind Orchestra demonstrating fantastic proficiency…Here one admires the very capable playing - I love the smooth, jazzy saxophones…

James Bonney’s electric guitar concerto opens with a quite intimidating, dangerous line for the soloist, the impressive, in both playing and hair, Fred Hamilton…it is a ton of fun to listen to. The next movement is even better, a bluesy lament into which Hamilton weaves his own wailing, brilliant improvised lines; the concerto is called Chaos Theory because the soloist improvises against pre-written orchestral accompaniment. The finale, which takes up half the work’s total length, maintains a mysterious atmosphere with the guitar accompanied by various percussion instruments, before a diabolical dance breaks out, again showcasing the improvising Hamilton.

Roger Nixon’s Fiesta del Pacifico (1960) is named after a street fair in San Diego, and is a nine-minute music-tourism postcard piece from southern California and Mexico. It’s charming enough to get by without originality. Chang Su Koh’s Korean Dances are wonderful: the first opens just for percussion, tubas, and bassoons, the theme gradually winding up through the band in punchy, exciting writing. The Japanese composer’s clearly got clever, colorful places to take us; I think the first movement’s even quite witty. The finale weaves in a theme from the passacaglia, a haunting cor anglais solo, and other elements which build it (slowly, but surely) to an imposing conclusion which also has its own little joke.

The Lone Star players are as excellent as they were first time out, an ensemble greatly polished and with no rough edges; solo players consistently shine. The engineering is fantastic, and the bass drum in particular constantly threatens to do a number to my stereo. It’s one of those delicious albums you can really feel…the pieces collected here are united in being fun for the ears. © 2012 MusicWeb International Read complete review

John Whitmore
MusicWeb International, May 2012

This is my first encounter with the Lone Star Wind Orchestra and I must say they are very impressive indeed. The opening track, Turina’s attractive La Procession del Rocio just about sums them up. The level of technical execution is stunning with tight ensemble work and impeccable intonation. All sections play wonderfully well. This technical excellence is supported tonally by a very well rounded full and glowing sound that has an impressive bottom end. Despite the absence of strings it does actually sound like a symphony orchestra in full flow. Deep bass drum thumps underpin the texture and give the sound a real kick. What a spectacular opening to the disc. Sonically the disc is natural and gimmick free with a nice sense of space and presence. The music has plenty of air around it and details emerge very well. Played at a fairly high volume it comes to life in spectacular fashion.

The Symphonic Dances from West Side Story take a few bars to warm up. The opening Prologue sounds just a shade tentative at the start but the music very soon takes flight. The music-making throughout is very well manicured with hardly a note out of place.

Roger Nixon’s Fiesta del Pacifico is…pleasant enough. It receives yet another assured performance from the Texans and it’s the sort of work that would be a welcome addition to the repertoire of many British youth bands—easy on the ear, not too challenging technically and a refreshing change.

The title of the CD is Converging Cultures and…one of the works, Chaos Theory, uses a solo electric guitar. I expected the worst to be quite frank. The composer’s stated intention in Chaos Theory is to pay homage to a whole list of musicians including Beethoven, Zappa, Webern, Bach, Shostakovich, Stravinsky and Led Zeppelin. It inhabits the same sort of sound world as Dream Theatre, Deep Purple (Concerto for Group and Orchestra) and Mike Oldfield. It’s tonal and not in the least chaotic. Maybe this would be entertaining as a novelty item at a live concert…

The final piece, Korean Dances, takes us back to world of the traditional wind-band thank goodness. A brief, comical Preludio is followed by a ruminative Passacaglia featuring some beautifully balanced solo woodwind playing at the opening. The final Rondo uses material from the brief Passacaglia and unlike the first two movements clearly inhabits an oriental sound-world. The movement builds to quite a satisfying, raucous climax—think of Khachaturian and you aren’t a million miles away. © MusicWeb International Read complete review

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